Caught The Betty Fox Band the other night at Ricky P’s in St. Petersburg Florida. If you haven’t heard of Betty Fox you soon will. At just 27 she has blues soul well beyond her years. And her band is top-notch with the amazing young master Josh Nelms on guitar.
Yes I know, this all sounds a little over-the-top, but having seen her and her band a couple of times now, I’m more convinced than ever. This is a band that is going somewhere.
The bands style is a mix of down-home blues, sophisticated soul and a bit of rockin’ blues thrown in. With Betty’s vocal range and soul, she can really do whatever music she wants. She can handle Aretha Franklin, Etta James, or any great woman singer and more than hold her own.
But thankfully she has a deep understanding of the best of blues and soul and picks tunes that are not only hip but also allow her to do her thing. The tunes always make you want to get up and dance. The cover song selection is excellent. And though they have many originals I haven’t gotten hip to them yet. But I soon will, next chance I get.
Josh Nelms On Guitar
And Josh Nelms on guitar, deserves a shout out himself. I’ve watched him for the last 10 years or so around town, as he has grown up in the blues. There has always been a buzz around this young player locally (I think he’s in his 30’s by now). And he keeps getting better.
And as a fellow blues guitarist, it’s sometimes hard to admit when someone really good comes along, especially when they’ve been playing only a short time compared to you. But this night helped me accept the fact that Josh has become probably one of the best blues guitarists in the country. He has the tone the taste and the technique that makes someone great. Again, Josh is someone to keep your eye on.
And the best thing about the band is the way Betty and Josh work together. They seem to be one mind up there, choosing songs and queuing each other as they seamlessly blend between vocals and leads and back again. I hope this partnership lasts a long time. It will be fun to watch.
Not sure how the Tampa area has gotten so lucky. We have not only Betty Fox to claim as a local band, but also Damon Fowler and Doug Demming. These three bands can hold their own on any blues stage. And there’s lots of other great bands in town too.
But Back to Betty Fox
When you’re a band on the way up you have to play many types of venues. Ricky P’s is a wonderful cajun restaurant (I highly recommend the Filé Gumbo or the Po’ Boys) with great food and ambiance, but it’s certainly not the big-time as a music venue. I’m sure Betty gets to play much more prestigious clubs.
But you’d never know it by the way the band played.
Betty always puts on a great show, and this night was no exception. She becomes one with the song like just about no one else. She is fun to watch and her dancing style is both cool and all her own. And according to Betty, her voice was not in great form, as she played late the previous night and had already done another gig that day. I sure couldn’t tell.
Can’t wait to see her when she is in top form.
Unfortunately, the only problem with the venue is that the lighting is not good and the sound is a bit boomy and undefined. You’ll see what I mean on the video. Still I’d go back to see her there if only for the intimacy of getting to see her up close.
And like the nice person she is, she came around to say hello to everyone in the club. And I was impressed at just how humble and sweet she is. Yes we sure are lucky to have Betty Fox around. But I have a feeling it may not be for long. Someone is going to discover this band and take her away to the big time. Enjoy it while you can Tampa Bay.
Anyway, I’ll let the video do the rest of the talking. Sorry for the quality. The room sound and the lighting were not great. But I think you’ll still see it’s a treat.
My only suggestion is, if you have a chance to see The Betty Fox Band don’t miss out. And of if you live in the Tampa area, you better hurry. You can learn more about them on their website here.